Chantal van den Broek-Blaak wins women's Tour of Flanders

Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (Boels Dolmans) has won the women's Tour of Flanders. Attacking on the Oude Kwaremont 19 kilometres from the finish, Van den Broek-Blaak went solo and held off a chasing group to the finish in no small part due to the work of her teammates who disrupted the chase.

Amy Pieters concluded a great day for Boels Dolmans by winning the sprint for second place ahead of Lotte Kopecky (Lotto Soudal).

“I feel very happy, I was waiting the whole season for this moment. I have thought about this race for a long time and now I finally have it,” said van den Broek-Blaak. 

“When I was still ahead after the Paterberg, I thought I could win if they started to look at each other behind. I heard on the radio that Anna [van der Breggen] and Amy were in the group behind me and knew they would cover the moves well. I only had to keep riding as hard as possible.”

How it unfolded

Fifteen kilometres into the 135.6km race, a break of seven riders went away and built a gap of up to 3:45 minutes. Two of the escapees lost contact early on, but the remaining five continued to lead the race for a long time. Several times, small chase groups sat in between the front group and the peloton, but none of them lasted long.

In the peloton, it was Boels Dolmans’ world champion Anna van der Breggen who set a hard pace on the Kanarieberg with 45km to go, reducing the size of the group as well as the gap to the break. Five kilometres later, the breakaway was caught on the lower slopes of the Taaienberg. Demi Vollering (Parkhotel Valkenburg) tried to get away but was quickly reeled in by Van der Breggen.

The next move came from Riejanne Markus (CCC-Liv) who was followed by Alena Amialiusik (Canyon-SRAM). Together, the two riders built an advantage of 52 seconds as they started the Kruisberg-Hotond with 30km to go.

Van der Breggen led the peloton on the cobbled Kruisberg, reducing the group further, and Van den Broek-Blaak launched an attack right after the top, into the asphalted Hotond climb. She quickly had Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo), Lisa Brennauer (Ceratizit-WNT) and Van der Breggen in her wheel, and though things came back together, this spelled the end of the breakaway of Markus and Amialiusik.

Van den Broek-Blaak made another attempt to get away, and when she was reeled in, Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) put in her trademark attack. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) tried to follow but had to leave a gap over the top of the Hotond, and Van Vleuten quickly got a sizable advantage.

In the descent, Van der Breggen went on the chase alone. When she eventually bridged to Van Vleuten, she refused to take any turns, allowing the following group to close the 15-second gap.

17 riders entered the Oude Kwaremont together, with Brennauer and Van Vleuten in the lead. As the road flattened out near the top, Van den Broek-Blaak accelerated in the saddle to make another attack. Vollering and Brennauer tried to get in her wheel, but just missed the moment, and Van den Broek-Blaak had a five-second advantage as she turned off the climb.

On the way to the Paterberg, eleven riders were left to chase her, two of whom were her teammates. On the Paterberg, Van Vleuten did another acceleration, as did Longo Borghini, but the chase group went over the top of the final climb together, 20 seconds behind Van den Broek-Blaak.

With Van der Breggen and Pieters disrupting the chase behind, Van den Broek-Blaak could extend her advantage to 1:01 minutes at the finish, celebrating her first Tour of Flanders victory in her eleventh participation.

In the group behind, there were attacks from Grace Brown (Mitchelton-Scott), Van Vleuten, Uttrup Ludwig, and Floortje Mackaij (Team Sunweb), but none of them were able to get away, and Pieters won the sprint for second place ahead of Kopecky and Brennauer.

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Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Chantal Van den Broek-Blaak (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam 3:29:57
2Amy Pieters (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam 0:01:01
3Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
4Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Ceratizit-WNT Pro
5Sarah Roy (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women
6Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Canyon-Sram Racing
7Demi Vollering (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
8Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo Women
9Lauren Stephens (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
10Marta Cavalli (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
11Anna Van der Breggen (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam
12Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Team Sunweb Women
13Riejanne Markus (Ned) CCC-Liv
14Grace Brown (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women
15Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Mitchelton-Scott Women
16Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
17Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) Trek-Segafredo Women 0:04:15
18Jolien Dhoore (Bel) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam
19Aude Biannic (Fra) Movistar Team Women 0:05:28
20Amalie Dideriksen (Den) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam 0:05:58
21Ilaria Sanguineti (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
22Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Ceratizit-WNT Pro
23Julie Leth (Den) Ceratizit-WNT Pro
24Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Movistar Team Women
25Vittoria Guazzini (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
26Arianna Fidanza (Ita) Lotto Soudal Ladies
27Elena Cecchini (Ita) Canyon-Sram Racing
28Eugénie Duval (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
29Stine Borgli (Nor) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
30Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) CCC-Liv
31Kristen Faulkner (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
32Chloe Hosking (Aus) Rally Cycling Women
33Leah Kirchmann (Can) Team Sunweb Women
34Hanna Nilsson (Swe) Parkhotel Valkenburg
35Nicole Steigenga (Ned) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport
36Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Canyon-Sram Racing
37Anouska Koster (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
38Nancy Van der Burg (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
39Soraya Paladin (Ita) CCC-Liv
40Brodie Chapman (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
41Abby-Mae Parkinson (GBr) Lotto Soudal Ladies
42Alison Jackson (Can) Team Sunweb Women
43Diana Klimova (Rus) Cogeas Mettler Look Pro
44Jeanne Korevaar (Ned) CCC-Liv
45Coryn Rivera (USA) Team Sunweb Women
46Hannah Barnes (GBr) Canyon-Sram Racing
47Audrey Cordon Ragot (Fra) Trek-Segafredo Women
48Jelena Eric (Srb) Movistar Team Women
49Lily Williams (USA) Rally Cycling Women 0:06:04
50Silvia Persico (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service 0:06:06
51Liane Lippert (Ger) Team Sunweb Women
52Amanda Spratt (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women
53Teuntje Beekhuis (Ned) Lotto Soudal Ladies 0:09:13
54Vita Heine (Nor) Hitec Products-Birk Sport 0:10:04
55Iuliia Galimullina (Rus) Cogeas Mettler Look Pro 0:10:07
56Valeriya Kononenko (Ukr) Ciclotel
57Céline Van Houtum (Ned) Multum Accountants-LSK Ladies
58Aigul Gareeva (Rus) Cogeas Mettler Look Pro
59Sara Van de Vel (Bel) Ciclotel
60Danique Braam (Ned) Lotto Soudal Ladies
61Nina Kessler (Ned) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
62Fien Van Eynde (Bel) Doltcini - Van Eyck- Proximus Continental Team
63Marit Raaijmakers (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
64Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) CCC-Liv
65Edwige Pitel (Fra) Cogeas Mettler Look Pro
66Maëlle Grossetete (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
67Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam
68Christina Schweinberger (Aut) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport
69Sarah Rijkes (Aut) Ceratizit-WNT Pro
70Emily Newsom (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
71Emma White (USA) Rally Cycling Women
72Chiara Consonni (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
73Gloria Rodriguez Sanchez (Spa) Movistar Team Women
74Laura Asencio (Fra) Ceratizit-WNT Pro
75Alicia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa) Movistar Team Women
76Emilia Fahlin (Swe) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
77Heidi Franz (USA) Rally Cycling Women
78Alice Barnes (GBr) Canyon-Sram Racing
79Kylie Waterreus (Ned) Multum Accountants-LSK Ladies 0:10:57
DNFSharlotte Lucas (NZl) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
DNFAlexis Ryan (USA) Canyon-Sram Racing
DNFElizabeth Deignan (GBr) Trek-Segafredo Women
DNFSara Poidevin (Can) Rally Cycling Women
DNFEvy Kuijpers (Ned) CCC-Liv
DNFLeah Dixon (GBr) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
DNFAlba Teruel Ribes (Spa) Movistar Team Women
DNFTayler Wiles (USA) Trek-Segafredo Women
DNFFranziska Koch (Ger) Team Sunweb Women
DNFSilvia Pollicini (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
DNFHanna Johansson (Swe) Multum Accountants-LSK Ladies
DNFLara Defour (Bel) Multum Accountants-LSK Ladies
DNFAnna Badegruber (Aut) Multum Accountants-LSK Ladies
DNFMarieke Van Witzenburg (Ned) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport
DNFJulie Stockman (Bel) Multum Accountants-LSK Ladies
DNFKathrin Schweinberger (Aut) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport
DNFMieke Docx (Bel) Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport
DNFAlice Sharpe (Irl) Ciclotel
DNFOlha Kulynych (Ukr) Ciclotel
DNFImogen Cotter (Irl) Ciclotel
DNFPernille Larsen Feldmann (Nor) Hitec Products-Birk Sport
DNFGracie Elvin (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women
DNFMireia Benito Pellicer (Spa) Massi Tactic Women Team
DNFMieke Kröger (Ger) Hitec Products-Birk Sport
DNFTrixi Worrack (Ger) Trek-Segafredo Women
DNFNoemi Rüegg (Swi) Cogeas Mettler Look Pro
DNFLea Lin Teutenberg (Ger) Ceratizit-WNT Pro
DNFSilje Mathisen (Nor) Hitec Products-Birk Sport
DNFGreta Richioud (Fra) Hitec Products-Birk Sport
DNFLucy Van der Haar (GBr) Hitec Products-Birk Sport
DNFJesse Vandenbulcke (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
DNFRomy Kasper (Ger) Parkhotel Valkenburg
DNFBelen Lopez Morales (Spa) Massi Tactic Women Team
DNFIsabel Martin Martin (Spa) Massi Tactic Women Team
DNFPatricia Ortega Ruiz (Spa) Massi Tactic Women Team
DNFGabrielle Pilote-Fortin (Can) Massi Tactic Women Team
DNFMireia Trias Jordan (Spa) Massi Tactic Women Team
DNFJessica Allen (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women

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Lukas Knöfler started working in cycling communications in 2013 and has seen the inside of the scene from many angles. Having worked as press officer for teams and races and written for several online and print publications, he has been Cyclingnews’ Women’s WorldTour correspondent since 2018.

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